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7 No-Sweat Ways to Burn Calories

I quit my gym membership several months ago when I realized it was actually preventing me from doing more of the activities I truly enjoy—hiking, biking and walking outside, practicing yoga, jumping up and down. But even many of the day-to-day activities we don’t really think of as exercise can torch calories.

If one of your resolutions (remember those?) was to boost your activity in the New Year, think beyond the gym. These seven activities can help you burn 100 calories without (really) trying:

Shovel snow (15 minutes): Clear your own driveway and get buff arms in the process.

Wash dishes (40 minutes): It may not be your favorite activity, but scrubbing those pots and pans burns calories.

Talk on the phone (90 minutes): Catch up with your best friend…even better, take that phone while walking and you’ll sizzle 100 calories in just 20 minutes.

Bust out some sun salutations (10 minutes): Greet the day with this sequence of stretching, pushups and backbends and you can incinerate 100 calories in just 10 minutes.

Give your dog a bath (28 minutes): Giving your dog a bath uses slightly more energy than bathing your kids.

Help a friend move (15 minutes): You probably will sweat with this one, but you’ll also be doing a good deed.

Cook dinner (45 minutes): Just another excuse to try something more elaborate in the kitchen…you’ll apparently work up an appetite.

*Calculations based on a 140-pound woman. Data from Health Status and Fitness Partner

Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian who thinks you don’t have to compromise good taste to achieve good health. A former associate nutrition editor of EatingWell Magazine, Kerri-Ann now freelance writes about food, nutrition and health trends and her work has been published on, Yahoo! Shine and the Huffington Post, among others. She also puts her masters degree in nutrition from Columbia University to use teaching classes and counseling individuals on adding healthy behaviors to their daily lives. Find more of her work at or follow her on Twitter @kerriannrd or Facebook.


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